All three major dormitories at Colorado College are now under two-week quarantine after 10 students at the school tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week.
The small, private liberal arts school in Colorado Springs announced Saturday that South and Mathias halls have been locked down for 14 days.
Loomis Hall and the more than 100 students who live in it are under a two-week quarantine that expires Sunday after a student tested positive for coronavirus and “enhanced social distancing protocols” put in place by the college weren’t followed.
The new quarantines were enacted, the college said, at the recommendation of El Paso County Public Health.
“Ten students this week received positive test results for the virus, in cases that are related,” the college said in an alert. “All of the students who received positive test results this week were immediately isolated, and others who were identified through contact tracing are already in quarantine.”
Only first year students are currently on campus at CC ahead of the return of other pupils.
“We acknowledge that this is not how students likely expected to begin their college career,” CC said in an internet post for the campus community.
Colorado College has a student population of about 2,500, the majority of whom have traditionally lived on campus.
“We know this is a trying and difficult time. We are doing our best to be caring and responsible in reducing risk for our community. We appreciate your patience and support,” Rochelle Dickey, acting dean of students/acting vice president for student life, wrote in a letter to the campus community.
Students who are in quarantine are being provided with food and are checked in with daily.
Some students who have been quarantined in Loomis said they were only allowed outdoors for a limited period each day and had to stay within a spray-painted area around the dorm building. They said that they lacked air conditioning in their dorm rooms and were being encouraged to limit trips to the bathroom.
All Colorado College students were being tested when they arrived on campus two weeks ago, which is how the first case linked to Loomis Hall was identified.
The University of Colorado reported nine new coronavirus cases on the Boulder campus in the past week, but major shutdowns or quarantines have not been reported.
Colleges and universities across the U.S. have been struggling to welcome students back to campus during the pandemic. Some — like the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill — were forced to abandon plans for in-person learning after parties were blamed for student outbreaks.